At the crossroads of U.S. 177 and State Highway 51, in the heart of "Cowboy Country", in the midst of a vast Mid-western plain, sits Stillwater, Oklahoma, hometown to the band Other Lives and its gifted singer/composer and multi-instrumentalist bandleader, Jesse Tabish.
At first glance, this evocatively named small city, so remote from the hyperactive music scenes of NY and LA, seems an unlikely headquarters for Other Lives, a band with a coolly elegant aesthetic and decidedly unusual instrumentation tastes to boot, a band whose densely textured music is ambitiously and uncompromisingly sophisticated, yet instantaneously appealing and alluringly mysterious. But Stillwater's remoteness and lack of big city cache turned out to be a key factor in the realization of Other Lives' second album Tamer Animals (due for release August 29th on Play It Again Sam).
"I've been teaching guitar students here for the last 8 years," explains Jesse. "That takes up about two hours of the day and the rest of the day can be devoted to music. I have a lot of hours to write and think and do what I want with my time. I'm not bogged down trying to just get by. That's the advantage of being here." Most of those hours well spent were passed in the band's downtown studio compound, where Tabish and right hand man/band-mate and engineer Jonathon Mooney hunkered down for over 16 months of intensive composition and recording. "I would come in the morning and write and write and write," affirms Jesse. "And the evening was reserved for recording."